The apartment is really starting to look like a place that we live, and not just were we keep our boxes! Some time I'll actually have pictures, but we're not quite there yet. The cats continue to enjoy the new digs, and we are currently looking into buying them a tall kitty tower that they can have in front of our sliding glass doors, so they can look out at the birds and squirrels. We're even thinking about getting a bird feeder so they can enjoy the local wildlife.
Last week we had breakfast with a friend from Luther, currently starting her Ph.D work at Princeton. It was so nice to see a familiar face! We literally live 3 miles from on another. We took her to one of the famous diners over here, and our hatred for Highway 1 was renewed. Sometimes, roads just don't make sense around here. We did a lot of circles, but breakfast was eventually had. And there was much rejoicing (yay)!
Today was the first annual Irish Festival in the Mercer County Park, which is right across from where we live. It was a small but lively affair, with delicious fish and chips. We got a stunning stained glass window for our study:
Gorgeous! And I also learned that Hughes, the name of the street we live on, means "Fire" in one of the Irish dialects.
I have been doing some cooking with my time, not just unpacking all day. I've made chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and today I am trying my hand at chicken parmesan, however you spell it. I've also been able to do a lot of reading, especially some books that I have been meaning to but haven't found the time. I'm also found myself fond of netflix documentaries. There is some really interesting stuff on there. Beau likes to watch West Wing and play Star Trek online to relax, and it helps a lot to get his mind to stop thinking for a while. This week he has a wedding (which he is not actually officiating, since he is not ordained yet) and the 10th anniversary of September 11 to deal with.
We've come to realize that people around here were (of course) much more effected by what happened on Sept 11. Nearly all the pastors who where here at the time knew people in their congregations who at least had a family member die. People have stories about children not getting picked up after school because their parents were killed. The whole tone here is more that of grief than of anger that we sometimes find more common in the midwest. New York City is an hour from here by car or train. Many people around here commute there to work. Many have been living literally under its shadow. There is a tribute in nearly every park tomorrow, and many churches are holding special services. In his congregation, Beau has decided to used a litany modified from the ELCA website after the Gospel reading (which, interestingly enough, is about forgiveness) and then he is giving a shortened sermon. How to handle this day has come up in many of our lectionary group conversations, and there is no easy way answer. But with God's help, we do the best we can.